The Ticket

Rick Santorum predicts a convention fight with Ron Paul delegates over party platform

Chris Moody
The Ticket

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Ron Paul and Rick Santorum (Jae C. Hong/AP)

ROSEMONT, Ill.—Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have never gotten along, and while the primaries are effectively over, their intraparty rivalry could stretch on through the summer.

With 267 delegates pledged to him so far, Santorum is planning to flex his muscle at the Republican National Convention in August, where he predicted Friday there could be a showdown over the party platform between the social conservative delegates who pledged support for him and Ron Paul's libertarian supporters. Paul's campaign predicts that about 200 delegates will attend the convention on his behalf.

Both want a piece of the party platform, but the candidates agree on very little politically. Speaking to reporters here Friday at a conservative conference, Santorum said his supporters are ready for a "fight" in Tampa.

"I want to make sure that our delegates have an opportunity to come. Many of these folks were great volunteers and workers for us, and I want to make sure they have the opportunity to experience that convention, and we have other candidates who have delegates coming who, let's put it this way, may have a different approach, particularly to the platform," Santorum said. "Some of the other issues that are going to be discussed at the convention. I want to make sure that the folks who represent the values that I did during this campaign are also able to come to that convention and have their voices heard. I certainly have encouraged everyone to support Governor Romney as I have, but there are a lot of other issues at the convention other than just voting for the nominee."

Santorum added that he would spend the months before the August convention ensuring that his delegates are "armed and ready to engage the fight."

Paul, a candidate who advocates for a noninterventionist foreign policy and drug decriminalization, recently told supporters his delegate count puts him "in a tremendous position to grow our movement and shape the future of the GOP."

During the primaries, the two candidates spent plenty of time at each other's throats: They sparred constantly during the debates on foreign policy, and even attacked each other personally onstage. During the February GOP debate in Mesa, Ariz., Paul called Santorum "fake."

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